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Madalyn Laske, Published September 07 2013

Bison pick up their first set win, but drop volleyball match to Wisconsin

FARGO – North Dakota State volleyball won its first set of the season Saturday. However, it was not enough to extinguish Wisconsin’s fast-paced offense.

The Bison fell 25-14, 22-25, 25-12, 25-16 to the Badgers at the Doublewood Inn Classic at Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse.

“I’m really happy with the way we came out and competed, especially in that second set,” said NDSU head coach Kari Thompson. “That’s our first set win of the season, which is huge with a young team.”

The Bison start four freshmen, one sophomore and one junior.

“We are just focusing on getting better,” Thompson said. “They don’t have a lot of experience under their belt yet, so every time they get on the court, that’s them building and learning.”

Freshman Emily Miron came out strong for the Bison, finishing with eight kills and four blocks. The former Wadena-Deer Creek (Minn.) standout tallied four of her kills in the second set.

“Miron is a handful. She’s going to have a really nice career here,” said Wisconsin head coach Kelly Sheffield. “She’s tough to deal with and the setter puts her in some really nice situations. I mean we were scrambling all afternoon to try to slow her down.”

NDSU’s defensive effort was overshadowed by the performance of Wisconsin’s front row. Juniors Ellen Chapman and Courtney Thomas were too much for the Bison defense.

Chapman was the Badgers’ go-to hitter, tallying 23 kills and three blocks.

“If you can control her, I think you could be successful against them, but she is very hard to control,” said Thompson, who is in her third season as Bison head coach.

Thomas totaled 40 assists and five aces.

“I felt pretty good about my play,” Chapman said. “Courtney is such a great setter that it was easy to put away balls, because it’s such a great set up for me.”

The Bison defense was led by senior defensive specialist Danielle Dombeck, who notched a match-high 17 digs.

“I would like to see us battle a bit more for all of our sets,” Thompson said. “If we can push some more games to four or five sets, then we will get better.”

NDSU lost its second match Saturday to Northern Iowa 25-18, 25-19, 25-23.

W (kills-blocks-aces): Thomas 5-1-5 (40 assists), Morey 0-0-0 (16 digs), Morales 6-0-3, Thompson 14-3-1, Chapman 23-3-2, Hickey 0-1-0, Nelson 8-3-0.

NDSU: Minnick 4-0-0, Lee 1-2-0, Claxton 1-1-1 (24 assists), Steffen 6-0-0, Miron 8-4-0, Fassbender 6-2-0, Listebarger 0-0-1, DeGagne 4-4-0, Dombeck 0-0-0 (17 digs).

UNI (kills-blocks-aces): Nelson 7-1-0, Ubben 14-1-0, Hingtgen 7-1-1, S. Kintzel 9-2-0, C. Kintzel 7-1-0, Caldwell 4-0-1 (36 assists), Wandrey 0-0-1, Held 0-0-0 (16 dis), Pudwill 1-0-0.

NDSU:Minnick 11-0-0, DeGagne 7-0-0, Claxton 2-1-1 (28 assists), Miron 9-1-0, Fassbender 8-0-0, Milligan 0-0-1, Listebarger 0-0-1, Dombeck 0-0-0 (14 digs), Steffen 2-0-0.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Madalyn Laske at (701) 241-5549